SJU Law Ranks Among Top 90

The St. John’s University School of Law was ranked in the top 90 in the U.S. World & News’ top graduate school rankings for 2001 released on April 15.

“That’s a strong position to be in and we have improved over the last few years to be in that position,” dean of the law school Joseph Bellcosa said. ” We are going to strengthen our programs so that we can do even better.”

Although St. John’s ranked in the second tier (ranking begins at 52 to 90) on a scale of 5.0 as the best academic score the Law school only scored a 2.2.

“We need to improve that,” Bellacosa said. “That’s one of the areas where other schools and D.A.s around the country look at us and say where is St. John’s.”

According to the rankings the Law school only requires 2.9-3.5 GPA and and LSAT score of 153-159, much lower than many of the top scoring universities. But Bellacosa said that there is more to picking a student then just numbers.

“It’s the balance of the GPA, the maturity, and the other strengths and achievements of and individual that you have to look for this way you take the whole package,” he said. ” We are looking to change that [LSAT and GPA requirements] but you have to strike a balance on that and you have to have your proper enrollment,” he said.

Other sterenghts the law school had was 66 percent of its graduating class is employed by graduation and 98 percent of its graduting classes are employed with in nine months after graduation. The job placement center in the school “has helped in the rankings,” but there are still changes that the law school plans to make.

“During this upcoming year we plan to increase scholarships, publications, and marketing,” he said.

This includes sending out brochures to schools around the country to show “the accomplishments and aceivement our faculty and our school have had.”

The curriculum committee is also planning to offer students hands on training through new clinical programs.

Although the Bellacosa expressed that these rankings could be disputed over in catagories and numbers he believes it pinpoints what students should be looking for and “we have to accept it and we do the best we can to satisfy the different components of it.”